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Clarke didn't commit my mistake - Ricky Ponting

Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting (right) says that Michael Clarke has done the right thing in retiring rather than just stepping down as captain
©REUTERS / Action Images

Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting believes that outgoing skipper Michael Clarke has timed his retirement well after having endured an extended lean patch with the bat.

After stepping down from the captaincy in 2011, Ponting opted to play for another two years before retiring, and the 40-year-old says he is happy that Clarke is not following that route.

“Since I retired I have realised I went on too long and Michael doesn’t want to be in the same boat," Ponting told Sky Sports.

“I think it’s the right time as he has been fighting inner demons and battling his game for the last 12-18 months.”

Heaping praise on Clarke’s contributions to Australian cricket, Ponting also hoped that his former team-mate can sign off with a bang.

“He deserves to finish at The Oval and hopefully with the weight of the series off, we can see him make a big score.”

The defeat at Trent Bridge meant that Australia suffered their fourth successive Ashes series defeat in England with their last win coming way back in 2001.

Despite the shambolic performances by the ageing Australian side in the series, Ponting insisted that his country’s cricketing future was in safe hands.

However, the batting legend admitted the inadequacy in batting techniques of the Australian batsmen against the swinging ball - something he feels should be seriously thought about in the domestic circuit.

“The systems we have in Australia will guarantee that we will continue to produce good cricketers and it’s only a few months ago that this Australia team was winning everything,” Ponting said.

“But we have got to get back to producing first-class wickets in Australia that are going to have our players better prepared for English conditions.”

Ponting has even suggested for the Dukes ball to be used in Shield matches to allow young Australian players to get a feel of English conditions.

Australia have only won three out of their last 19 Tests in England with the visitors failing to win a single game during the 2013 series.

© Cricket World 2015